Nearly 3,000 Tennessee Students Honor Teachers In Statewide Essay Contest

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Tennessee Department of Education celebrated three Tennessee students on Wednesday for writing winning essays in a statewide contest highlighting the way in which educators impact lives. The winning students, one each in elementary, middle, and high school, described the teacher they were most thankful for in short essays and video messages. Representatives from the department surprised the teachers featured in the winning essays in three separate events in Memphis, Nashville, and Knoxville.

 

The department launched the “Why I’m Thankful for my Teacher” essay contest for the first time in early April. The contest, in conjunction with the department’s efforts to celebrate Tennessee educators during National Teacher Appreciation Week, May 5-9, was designed to share the powerful stories of learning happening everyday in Tennessee classrooms.

Hallie Humes, a second grader at Crump Elementary School in Shelby County, and winner of the kindergarten through third-grade category, submitted a video message about her current second-grade teacher Joyce Latiker Davis.

“I really admire when Ms. Latiker Davis makes work out of games, and I like how she thinks of it very quickly,“ Ms. Humes said in her video message. 

Reva Bagi, a fifth grader at Farragut Intermediate School in Knox County, and winner of the fourth- through eighth-grade category, described how her teacher, Niki Adams, makes her classroom a welcoming and productive environment.

“Ms. Adams really takes the time to focus on each of our problems. Her mind works like the inside of a clock. Gears are spinning, time is being used wisely, and best of all she slows the clock to make time for our problems,” Ms. Bagi said.

Hannah Balint, a freshman at Williamson County’s Page High School, and winner of the ninth- through twelfth-grade category, details how her eighth-grade Algebra teacher, Amy Tidwell, changed her academic career.

“She is a brilliant woman who taught in ways that seemed hard in the beginning, but over time became very manageable. She explained things to us and made sure that we understood them, which is one of the most important things that a teacher can do for their students,” Ms. Balint said.

Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman surprised eighth-grade teacher Amy Tidwell during Page Middle School’s eighth-grade celebration ceremony.

“We know that Tennessee teachers are working incredibly hard to help their students grow and achieve at new levels. We are thrilled that nearly 3,000 students shared stories of how teachers have impacted their lives,” Mr. Huffman said.

Each student winner will receive a $500 scholarship to the college of their choice. The Tennessee Business Roundtable, the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and the Nashville Chamber of Commerce each donated $500 to make these scholarships possible.

Winning essays and video messages are also featured on the department’s blog, Classroom Chronicles: http://tnclassroomchronicles.org/.

For more information, contact Kelli Gauthier at (615) 532-7817 or Kelli.Gauthier@tn.gov.
 



Lee Students Present At Blue Ridge Undergraduate Research Conference

Nine Lee University students recently traveled to Union College in Barbourville, Ky., to present original academic research at the 25th annual Blue Ridge Undergraduate Research Conference.  The eight students who presented in the literature panels are Emily Baker, Rebecca Doss, Erin McLaughlin, Jaran Miller, Macy O’Fallon, Maddie Schultz, Alexandra Squires, and Benjamin ... (click for more)

Vital To Address Graduates At CSCC’s Spring Commencement Ceremony

Cleveland State Community College will hold its annual spring Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 5 at 10 a.m. in the L. Quentin Lane Gymnasium. Greg A. Vital has been chosen as the keynote speaker for the ceremony. In January 2017, Cleveland State Community College announced the creation of Greg A. Vital Center for Natural Resources and Conservation, the college’s first ... (click for more)

1 Person Killed In Plane Crash At The Collegedale Airport

A person was killed in a plane crash on the runway of the Collegedale Airport on Friday evening. Charles Swain, who is the director of the airport, said the plane is a total loss. It was a single-occupant plane. He said the plane was taking off when it crashed. He said the person who died frequently had flown out of the Collegedale Airport. The FAA and NTSB are investigating ... (click for more)

$26.2 Million Grant Awarded For Bradley County Veterans Home

A $26.2 million U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs State Veterans Home Grant has been awarded for the construction of the future Bradley County Tennessee State Veterans Home. “Today is a monumental day for the veterans of East Tennessee, and I am thrilled that they have finally received the long overdue grant funding for the Bradley County Tennessee State Veterans Home," said ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)